Pembrokeshire County Council – Leisure Strategy 2018-2028

Project Overview

Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) identified the need to develop a new Leisure Strategy to guide the provision of services for the next 10 years. The Leisure Strategy formed part of the overall PCC Transformation Agenda. This project linked to work being undertaken which explored a TECKAL model for service delivery.

Strategic Leisure Ltd (SLL) was appointed to develop the new leisure strategy in September 2017 which delivered:

  • Improved performance and income generation from year one of delivery and sufficient levels to meet the financial challenges without having to cut service provision
  • Clarity of direction for the next decade
  • Buy-in from the leisure team and wider stakeholders

PCC recognise the important contribution the service makes towards its education & well-being objectives. However, in line with other local authorities, the service had to make a number of changes to balance reducing budgets with financial pressures likely to continue for at least another 4 years. The aspiration was to address these challenges by generating even higher levels of usage and income than it currently does, potentially diversifying service provision, as opposed to cutting service provision to balance budgets.

In particular, there was an aspiration that leisure services ultimately reach a breakeven point, i.e. no public subsidy whilst improving the overall health and well-being of people within the communities including physical, mental and social health.

Pembrokeshire Context

Located in south-west Wales, Pembrokeshire is a predominantly rural County, with a strong maritime influence and has a history of development based
on agriculture, tourism, defence, energy and port activities centred on the Milford Haven Waterway.

Pembrokeshire offers a vast range of outdoor and natural leisure attractions/activities, as well as a host of built provision.

There is significant opportunity to participate in a wide range of water-based sports and activities, as well as walking, hiking, running, climbing, cycling,
triathlon, trail walking, and coasteering, using the National Park, the beach and coastal areas, and the inland open space.

There is also a lot of provision of sport and physical activity through the club and wider third sector, including golf, rugby, cricket, football and athletics.
The last few years in particular have seen significant growth in participation in Ironman, Triathlon and cycling events.

The summer influx of tourists to Pembrokeshire is staggering. For example, the population of Tenby alone increases from 5k to 70k during the summer season.

Pembrokeshire County is part of the 21st Century Schools Programme in Wales; this means that a number of new schools/school facilities are being funded in the County. This Leisure Strategy needed to ensure that physical activity opportunities were complementary as opposed to competitive.

Key Findings

30 key issues were presented to PCC comprising a number of key areas including:

  • PCC Leisure Facilities
  • Resources
  • Digitalisation
  • Operational Delivery
  • Demographic Factors
  • Tourism and the Great Outdoors
  • Partnerships

Key Opportunities

SLL identified a number of key opportunities summarised as:

  1. Cost reduction
  2. Income generation
  3. Service improvement

The Leisure Strategy includes 13 objectives across four aims:

To provide excellent quality facilities and services

To create an inclusive leisure service, removing barriers that prevent people accessing leisure services

To maximise efficiency, grow participation and revenue to ensure a sustainable future

To develop and deliver services which improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of our users

The future vision for Pembrokeshire:

“By 2028 we will have inspired our communities to be the most active in Wales”

Mission Statement for Pembrokeshire:

Exist to provide a broad range of high quality, inclusive, fun and engaging Leisure Services which boost the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of users.

Take active steps to engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to ensure that everybody in Pembrokeshire can benefit.

Published by georgesutcliffe-strategicleisure

Senior Sport and Leisure Consultant for Strategic Leisure Ltd. Passionate about improving the physical and mental health of the nation. Often found playing sport. Background: Teaching, coaching, sports development industry, lecturing sport and digital media marketing

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